Taylor Donahue ’14
On May 9, the School Committee selected Dr. David Lussier to fill the role of superintendent of the school district, replacing the former superintendent Bella Wong.
Lussier will leave Austin, Texas, where he currently serves as the executive director for the Office of Educator Quality of the Austin, Texas Independent School District, for the Wellesley superintendent post. Lussier was an Associate Director of Domestic Policy in the White House and previously taught eleventh grade History at Quincy High School in Quincy, Massachusetts. In addition he was selected as the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year in 1999-2000.
During the search for a new superintendent the school committee received input from focus groups such as one that included student representatives from each grade in the school. Each student was given the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding what they wanted to see in a new superintendent, providing insight for the adults directing the group.
Leah Friedman ’12, a student representative at the focus group, voiced her thoughts on the qualifications of a superintendent. “The superintendent should be someone who is familiar with Wellesley’s community already and understands the dynamics and ‘personality’ of each school in the district,” said Friedman, “Good leadership skills, confidence, approachability, willingness to negotiate, and an understanding of the education systems are all important.”
Suzy Littlefield was impressed by Lussier’s experience at Quincy High School and his administrative role in Austin, Texas. “Dr. Lussier has served in a wide variety of leadership positions and has proved himself to be an effective leader who listens well, motivates his staff and is able to get new iniatives off the ground and running”, said Littlefield.
Lussier looks forward to his new role as superintendent and the opportunity to develop relationships with the students and faculty in the school district. “As superintendent, it is critical for me to stay connected to the voice of students”, said Lussier, “You can expect to see me out in schools a great deal to support students in the classroom, on stage, and on our athletic fields”.
Among his goals as superintendent, Lussier hopes to gain greater knowledge of the community in order to assess the areas for improvement. Lussier believes he can achieve this because of his “commitment to work with the community and support a shared vision of success for all students. Given the leadership vacancies we have at several schools and at the central office, building a strong team will be among his most important early priorities”.
The school committee welcomes Lussier with open arms and looks forward to the opportunity to know him better. “Dr. Lussier told the School Committee that on the finalist day in the district, he really enjoyed his interview time with WHS students, loved the new school and looks forward to spending time in the high school once he is superintendent”, said Littefield.